At the DLD conference in Munich yesterday, a panel of folks were asked to play a word-association game.The moderator, Kara Swisher, threw out a stream of topics, and the panelists were asked to provide a one-word reaction to each.
Kara worked through a number of topics–“Facebook,” “Rupert Murdoch,” “Google,” etc.
Then she came to “Steve Jobs.”
The first response, from Jim Breyer of Silicon Valley-based Accel Ventures, was “sad.”
Given all the other adjectives that jump to mind when you think about Steve, this one was striking. Especially because, unlike most of those who are concerned about Steve, Jim is actually in a position to know some things.
As best we can tell, the emerging consensus of high-level folks in the Valley is that Steve isn’t coming back. We have heard some specifics about Steve’s condition that make sense given his circumstances and that are certainly not encouraging (we have not been able to verify this information, and given the sensitivity, we’re not yet prepared to report it. At this point, the specifics also seem pretty much irrelevant. It seems safe to conclude that Steve is seriously ill.).
Silicon Valley folks are “keeping their fingers crossed,” as another Valley veteran, Reid Hoffman, put it on the same panel yesterday. But the general sentiment is as Jim Breyer described it–sad.